About Coorg

The mountain district of Kodagu is a picturesque hill station situated in the heart of Western Ghats in Karnataka state, India. With dense jungles and abundant greenery, this region is a paradise for nature lovers and has a human history of more than 2500 years. Kodagu is situated at 4000 ft above sea level covering an area of 1595 sq. miles (4102.3 sq. kms.) and a population of about 6 lakhs. The town of Madikeri serves as the district headquarters. Thanks to its natural splendour and landscape, Kodagu is known as the ‘Scotland of India’ and ‘Kashmir of the South’.

Kodagu and the Kodava people have a distinct identity. The name ‘Kodava’ is derived from ‘Kodimalenad’, meaning higher forest land. The human settlement here was initially called ‘Krodadesa’, which later transformed into ‘Kodavu’. The word ‘Kodava’ also literally means ‘blessed by Mother Kaveri’, referring to the people’s sacred and deep-rooted relationship with the life-giving river Kaveri, which originates in this district.

The Kodavas belong to a martial race and are Kshatriyas belonging to the lunar dynasty. The unique Kodava language bears the strong influence of Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Arabic. They are believed to have migrated from North India and embraced Hinduism only much later on. Mother Kaveri is the primary deity and Bhagavati and Chamundi are the recognized goddesses of the community. According to the Huindu Puranas Chandra Varma is the ancestor of Kodavas and both Changalvas and Kongalvas were feudal lords of Kodagu.

Today the Kodavas are basically agriculturists belonging to warrior clan. Being a hilly region, they have mastered the art of cultivating coffee, black pepper and cardamom. Coorg Honey and Coorg Coffee are considered to be among the best in the world. A panoramic view of the district invariably comprises of rolling hills with rich coffee plantations and the people are genuinely friendly and hospitable.

Being a martial class, Kodagu has made invaluable contribution to the defense forces. With at least one family choosing a career in the armed forces, there are at present more than 8000 Kodavu brave hearts serving the nation.

In sports, Kodagu is famous as the cradle of hockey and has produced players of national and international caliber. The Kodava Hockey Festival, with 300 teams and 4000 players has entered the Limca Book of Records.

Kodava people are also known for their unique dress code, which comprises of distinctive costumes for men and women.


Madikeri Mane